|Nickeas can be Mets backup option|
Josh Thole would be the lefty-hitting starter, which is straightforward.
Defensive-oriented Mike Nickeas very well could be the righty-hitting complement. Still, a team insider insisted the organization has not resolved to non-tender Ronny Paulino at the Dec. 12 deadline.
There is widespread organization disappointment with Paulino's lack of following of pitching game plans, but team officials nonetheless aren't yet committed to tossing him aside, a team official said, partly out of concern for whether Nickeas can hit at the level to be a full-season major leaguer.
Paulino made $1.35 million last season and is eligible for arbitation.
Free-agent catchers include Josh Bard, Ramon Castro, Ivan Rodriguez, Kelly Shoppach and Jason Varitek.
The Mets presumably would employ catchers with at least limited major league experience at Triple-A Buffalo as a hedge.